Chapter 7: Crowe

An attractive man with a round, bald head sat smiling at the camera. He adjusted his tie, the ubiquitous phallic symbol of modern Western dress, and positioned himself to look his best for the camera, slightly turned to display pectoral muscles beneath his well cut but cheaply constructed suit. "My name's not important," he told the camera, "but you can call me Crowe. Everybody does at work."

"That's because it's your name, dumbass," came the rough female voice from behind the camera.

"You want me to do this?" Crowe asked rhetorically. "Then let me do it. Anyway, I'm a homicide detective."

The man had a natural arrogance to his movements; just because he was doing a good thing didn't negate who he was. "You can get through all the shit people are going to give you," he said, not minding his language as the man had in the previous video in the series, "because they just don't know what they're dealing with. Sometimes you have to teach people. Sometimes just lets them go, if they're never going to listen long enough to really learn what a good person you are or anything else about you. It ain't no thang. Just let it roll off. Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."

He gave himself a moment to think about what to say next. "Yeah. So I lost a bet at poker and now I have to do this video, or pay up the people I lost to. They think that's why I'm doing this video, but that's not the real reason. I'd have done it anyway if they just asked."

He leaned in and lowered his voice. "I'm doing it because I hate the word nigger. Probably as much as you hate the word fag. See, I know it's hard. You think I've never been called names? Look at my black face. Of course I have. There are places it's not safe to be gay, and there are places it's not safe to be black. People are going to judge the hell out of you, and they might not even realize they're doing it."

Crowe stuck his thumbs under his belt, adjusted it a bit, and then stilled himself again. "Just let it go. The less you listen to the haters, the more you can listen to your own mind. The best revenge against haters is living a good life. You kill yourself, and people that love you will feel bad. You live well, and the people who don't love you, the people who cut you down, will be the ones to feel bad. Doesn't that sound better? Yeah. So that's what I want to say. If you make it better, it gets better. Peace out."

SPECIAL NOTE: This fic was written mostly a way to draw your attention over to ChapstickLez. In a few days, she will be posting all subsequent parts of this series, which we're writing together, and I want all my readers to quickly run over to her profile (.net/~ChapstickLez) and click Author Alert so that you don't miss any of them.